20The 16 wks ultrasono report

Big Z turned 10 years today. Sounds clichéd – yes, time absolutely flies and I don’t know where it flew. My 16 weeks ultras0no report had pronounced that we were having a boy. S however was very sure that it was a girl and had already fixed upon the name Shrishti, meaning Creation. She is also called Big Z because her pet name is Zita. We Bengalis, must necessarily have a pet name or a daaknaam. Remember Jhumpa Lahiri’s ‘Namesake’? During the 8 months scan, the doctor declared that it would be a girl. I burst out crying and I couldn’t wait to see the happiness in S’s eyes. I had been toying out some boys name all throughout my pregnancy – Adi, Karan, Krish etc!

Albums full of memoriesDSC_3809 copy

In my early years of mommyhood, I used to keep all my memories documented in different albums – categorised, labelled and captioned. I had a separate baby book, an album exclusively for birthdays, an early year school album (above left) etc etc etc. Those were the pre-digital days. I was a happy mom. I would click pictures, print them and put them neatly in albums. The last few years however, my life had changed. I had become a geek. I would document every moment and every minute of my life through my Nikon SLR and more recently, my Samsung smartphone. There were no more albums that could sit on my bookshelves. They would sit in different folders on my hard disc. I believe, in life everything is destined for a reason. Most of the times for a good reason. Recently, my laptop as well as my iMac crashed – wiping away a whole lot of photographs. I had a back up of some, but I realised that I had lost a majority of the photographs, including many special moments from the Z-Sisters’ lives. Today, I am thankful for the few albums that I had so diligently created – they seem to be like some priceless inheritance. Here’s Big Z’s timeline from the pages of those albums, and I realised that she wasn’t very big even a few days back…Big Z, 10 minutes oldThe Baby Book All about the day Big Z was born The day Big Z was born  Annaprashan or the Rice Feeding ceremony when Big Z was 3 months oldBig Z turns 1, FrankfurtBig Z turns 1, FrankfurtBig Z was born in Dubai but soon after we moved to Frankfurt. After living in Dubai, Frankfurt seemed like a totally different world. I used to miss my friends in Dubai and would email regularly about how Big Z was doing. When Big Z turned one, we had only a handful of friends in Frankfurt – Claudia being one of them (left page in the picture above). We cut Big Z’s first birthday cake in a small Pizzeria. And I wrote a huge email to all my friends and family (below), on behalf of Big Z, describing the Big Day. It is strange that even then I was such a lousy baker – I couldn’t even straighten a ready-made frozen cake! The 2nd birthday was better – we had made very good friends in Debu (right page in the above picture), who shared his birthday with Big Z. My huge email to all my friends and family, on behalf of Big Z, describing the first birthday.Big Z turns 1, Frankfurt. My blurry photograph.Big Z turns 2, Frankfurt

I was a terrible photographer in those days. And I didn’t focus on anything – neither the people nor on food. While the first birthday picture of Big Z was very blurry (first picture above), at least the cake was there in the picture. But in the 2nd Birthday picture, there are no photographs of the birthday cake. Thankfully, there is Big Z. During those days, she was cutely squinted, wearing specs like the nerdy kid from the Tom Cruise film, Jerry McGuire. Soon she would require no specs after a lot of eye exercise and roaming around like a pirate, with one bandaged eye. Big Z turns 3. It's a Dora and Boots birthday cake. Now slowly, the birthdparties revolved around themes!Another cake cutting at home.Every birthday is marked by cards sent by both set of grandparents. If not from my mother, then definitely from my mother-in-law. She still makes it a point to go from one card shop to another, searching for the right words. Then she would actually post them by hand – a rarity in today’s world of emails and e-greetings. By the time Big Z turned 3, we were back to Dubai, although we didn’t know at that time how long our Dubai stint would be.Big Z turns 4. It's the Winnie The Poo.      Gradually, the celebrations became bigger and biggerCards from grand parents as Big Z turns 5It's the Snowhite and Seven Dwarfs this time.Big Z turns 5!

There’s a new entrant in our family by the time Big Z turned 5… that’s our Li’l Z.Big Z turns 6! Now Big Z has started writing her own invites.

Big Z turns 6! By this time Big Z had started writing her own invites (above). Out of the blue, we had also built up a tradition of celebrating each of her birthdays with two birthday parties – one at home, for Mummy and Daddy’s friends and another one for school friends. And that brought in another new task in the horizon – choosing different venues for each birthday.
Big Z's 6th birthday is in Ski Dubai.Two borthday parties - one at home, for Mummy and Daddy's friends and one outside for school friends)The cake cutting for the home party.Outside venue for school friends

My birthday album project got halted at Big Z’s 6th birthday – sigh! Gone were the stories and the captions. Plus those glued up special greeting cards from both the grandmas. And with my recent hard disc crashes, there were no more *potential* story telling too that I could hand over. It was time for me to resort to Facebook uploads – both mine and others.Big Z turns 7. Cafe Ceramique comes home to organise a crafty party.Big Z turns 8! Cutting a cake before going to school - my parents look on

By the time Big Z turned 8, she had started to show interest in cooking. We celebrated her birthday by making Pizza at Pizza Express. She would soon start helping me setting up tables for parties and making the salads, sometimes preparing a dish or two.Big Z turns 9! The Shoogy woogy cupcakes match the Giraffe cake, which in turn matches the theme in the Rainforest Cafe.  DSC_4152 copyDay

Today, we celebrated Big Z’s 10th birthday by watching Maleficent at the Vox Cinemas in the morning. It felt strange to see her holding her first flowers – a gift from a boy friend (as she emphasised – not boyfriend but a friend who was a boy) in class who didn’t know what else to buy for a girl. And I felt – oh, that was my baby even a few days back, just 3 days old (above right) – still lying in the hospital crib. Today, she talks about what she wants to be. One day she wants to be a baker, another day, she wants to be a teacher. The third day she would come back saying she wants to be an actress. All I pray is that she will be happy and safe, specially in the world she’s growing up in. I admire S, who seems to be absolutely okay in letting her be on her own. As he says, sooner than later, she will anyway be on her own. I am slightly jittery. But for the time being I try to sing along with Doris Day and say Que Sera, Sera… whatever will be, will be… the future’s not ours to see… Que Sera, Sera… whatever will be, will be!

Unblogging it all… Ishita

The School Album Project starts off with Big Z joining the Kindergarten.The School Album Project starts off with Big Z joining the Kindergarten. That’s Big Z in her first year of school. I don’t want to remember her first day of school –  she didn’t even look back at Mummy as she entered the classroom. Costumes and dress ups, the School Album Project has it all. The school bear Barnaby comes home, and the School Album Project starts becoming heavier by the day.

The school bear Barnaby comes home, and the School Album Project starts becoming heavier by the day. And suddenly stops there. Today, every Friday (#FridayBaking) I wake up to Big Z trying out her baking skill. Mummy is very lousy at baking so she learns hands on. For her 10th birthday, she actually bought herself a lot of baking utensils (much below). Disclaimer: While you enjoy reading the posts with lot of visuals, please do not use any material from this post. Please note that this blog is not a sponsored blog and the subject, story, opinions and views stated here are my own and are independent. You can catch my daily travel and food journey on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Written by IshitaUnblogged

A Culinary Travel Blog by a Bong Gourmet. From Dubai, Kolkata & the world beyond, street food to fine dining, recipes to chef talks, it pens down experiences. With 2 kids in tow!


  1. It is the most endearing and beautifully crafted post I’ve ever read. It has all the ingredients of a heart warming, mouth watering recipe for a chocolate fudgy love cake. Loved it Ishita. Happy birth and blessed day for Z and family.

    1. Thank you very much! I guess, the blog space is where I can pour out my emotions without any *holding back*. You all have been part of this journey. Wanted to write so much more. Like ‘God save Inge!’

  2. Happy Birthday Zita! I wish we could be there and celebrate your big 10th birthday with you!We are wishing all the best in your life!Enjoy your day! With lots of love and hugs! Chottuli you did the wonderful job for writing and posting Zita’s beautiful pictures.

  3. A very happy birthday to your little girl for she will always be a little girl in her mum’s eyes🙂 Such a heartwarming and beautiful post..reading it made me all teary eyed..thinking how these little girls come into our lives and we pour our heart and soul into loving them and how quickly they transform into confident young ladies…you are such a lovely mum one that she is really lucky to have…love the way you captured each of her birthdays through your scrapbooks. Lots of love to her and to you.

  4. A beautiful description of one of the most important reasons of your ‘being’…..so well captured!Happy Birthday to Big Z and we look forward to a similar one for lil’ Z….

    1. Thank you Neel. There is no better person than you to understand this. I had replied earlier through the smartphone, possibly didn’t come through and that I realised only now. Li’l Z might not have any albums like these… it’s a huge task (although ideally I should be telling myself that it’s the labour of love)!

  5. Sorry Di for the very late reply. haven’t been on WordPress a lot these days. belated wishes to Big Z…. wish her happiness and success…

    about the post, it was amazing (as usual – needless to say)….

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